Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tough questions for Sestak and Axelrod from CNN?

It would appear that the Joe Sestak White House job offer scandal is finally starting to heat up.  On Monday night, CNN's John King took the gloves off with the President's senior adviser, David Axelrod and Representative Sestak.

From Newsbusters:
On his CNN program on Monday, John King pressed both Obama senior advisor David Axelrod and Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak on the latter's allegation that he was offered a job by the White House in exchange for getting out of the Pennsylvania Senate primary against Arlen Specter. Even though King pushed for an answer, Axelrod denied any wrongdoing on the White House's part and Sestak refused to explain further [audio available here; video below the jump].

The CNN anchor raised the controversy with Sestak 16 minutes into the 7 pm Eastern hour. Though King was late in pressing Sestak on the issue, given the politician made the allegation against the Obama White House in February, he tried hard to get the Pennsylvania Democrat to divulge further information. The congressman went beyond filibustering, rephrasing his vague answer and even trying to change the subject:
Here are the relevant video clips:

Newsbusters has the transcript.

Frances Martel at Mediaite suspects that both Axelrod and Sestak were caught off guard by the tenor of King's questions:
The sum of the interviews was not exactly a Crossfire-style shout-fest, but on a program that can be a safe haven for middle-aged political married couples to sit around on couches, it was something of an anomaly, and one gets the sense from both Sestak and Axelrod that they were not expecting the type of journalistic bite they got out of King.
Although I must commend Mr. King on hard-hitting interviews here, CNN's website makes it clear where the network's sympaties lie (shock).  On CNN's video website, these two clips are labeled respectively, "Axelrod answers the Sestak question" and "Rep. Joe Sestak dodges WH job questions."  I wonder who is being set up to take the fall here.

But it will be interesting.  If the White House tries to impugn Admiral Sestak's truthfulness, it won't help the Democrats in what is shaping up to be a very tight race for the Pennsylvania senate seat being vacated by the defeated Arlen Specter.  If they push back hard enough, he is likely to sing like a canary.

Ed Morrissey shares his thoughts on the matter at HotAir.

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